Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says the state will no longer participate in a federal program that resettles refugees. The governor's spokesperson, Eileen Hawley, says the Obama administration hasn’t done enough to answer Brownback's questions about security.
“He has taken the actions he can to protect the security of the state. He feels very strongly that he has been patient and reasonable and made rational requests of the federal government,” says Hawley.
The governor had previously voiced concerns that terrorists might enter Kansas along with refugees from certain countries. Now, Brownback says the state will end all involvement with federal refugee resettlement.
“Because we are no longer going to participate in that program, there will be no state funds used. The state will not be a partner with the federal government in doing this because we could not get the assurances we needed,” says Hawley.
The ACLU of Kansas contends refugees are subject to rigorous screening. Micah Kubic (Cubic), with the ACLU, says this action won’t stop the federal government from settling refugees in Kansas, but it does send a negative message.
“A very loud and very symbolic statement that the state of Kansas has no desire to provide hospitality to those fleeing the worst situations in the world,” says Kubic.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families says the state has settled more than 300 refugees in the last six months.